New vehicle sales report – April 2012

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A total of 79,097 new vehicles were sold in April, official VFACTS numbers show. That’s an increase of 6.6% (4,833 sales) compared to same month last year.

While the demand for SUVs continues (27.6% of all monthly sales) there is an increasing trend for diesel powered SUVs, up 56% on the same month in 2011.

“Yet again, SUVs dominate the Australian vehicle market, with sales increasing for all sizes of SUVs in the private, business and rental sectors,” FCAI Chief Executive Ian Chalmers said. “This month however we can also see an interesting emergence of customer preference for diesel powered SUVs.”

The Hilux remains a leading product for Toyota and topped the sales charts in April, followed by the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla. No surprise to see Toyota heading sales figures, in front of Mazda and Holden.

Remind us why the Feds are supporting the Commodore and Falcon again?

Emerging buyer preference for diesel SUVs

Official VFACTS data released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows an emerging buyer preference for diesel sports utility vehicles in the continuing strong market for SUVs.

Overall, 79,097 vehicles were sold in April, an increase of 6.6 per cent (or 4,833 vehicles) compared to the same month in 2011. On a year to date basis, this is a 5.1 per cent increase (16,541 vehicles) on sales for the first four months in 2011.

“Yet again, SUVs dominate the Australian vehicle market, with sales increasing for all sizes of SUVs in the private, business and rental sectors,” FCAI Chief Executive Ian Chalmers said. “This month however we can also see an interesting emergence of customer preference for diesel powered SUVs.”

Private sales for diesel SUVs increased by 56.0 per cent (or 1,530 vehicles) compared to the same month in 2011, and 47.9 per cent (5,485) for the same four-month period last year. Similarly, non-private sales for diesel SUVs increased by 47.5 per cent (1,507) compared with April 2011 and 39.3 percent (5,588) for the same period in 2011. Overall, SUV sales increased by 24.4 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile sales are down for large passenger vehicles, but medium passenger car sales continue to be strong, up 14.6 per cent (3,428) compared with the same period last year. Sales of sports cars show a healthy resurgence with an increase of 36.1 per cent (1,680) compared with the same period.

Sales of locally manufactured vehicles are up 17.1 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The popular Mazda3 was pipped at the post in April by the Toyota HiLux with 3,565 sales.

Toyota was the best performing brand in April selling 16,568 vehicles, followed by Mazda with 7,681 and then Holden with 7,589.

Top 10 selling marques – April 2012

  1. Toyota – 16,568
  2. Mazda – 7,681
  3. Holden – 7,589
  4. Hyundai – 7,017
  5. Ford – 6,306
  6. Nissan – 4,686
  7. Volkswagen – 3,798
  8. Mitsubishi – 3,748
  9. Subaru – 3,003
  10. Kia – 2,505

Holden’s Local Line-Up Leads April Sales

Stock shortages of critical Holden models, including Colorado and Barina, have impacted Holden’s sales result for April.

According to official VFACTS figures released today, Holden achieved a 9.6 per cent market share in April, selling 7,589 units for the month. Year-to-date, Holden’s total volume is 36,534 sales, giving the company 10.8 per cent market share for the year.

Holden Executive Director of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales John Elsworth said Holden’s locally-produced models were the company’s highest-selling products, accounting for 70.3 per cent of Holden’s total April sales.

“Cruze continues to be a great car for Holden. It was Australia’s fourth highest-selling car in for the month with 2,315 cars sold,” he said.

Commodore continued to capture more than 50 per cent of the large car segment in April, with 2,248 units making it the fifth highest-selling car for the month.

Captiva 5 sales grew by an impressive 42.3 per cent in April helping it achieve its best April on record with a total of 400 units. Holden also sold 591 units of Captiva 7, bringing total Captiva sales to 991 units.

Mr Elsworth said Holden expected supply of imported vehicles to improve in the second half.

“The light commercial segment is a key market for Holden, and Colorado has been traditionally one of our most important models. We’ve had a very successful run-out, with only a handful of cars available in March and April,” he said.

“We’re really pleased with the response to our next-generation Colorado dealer roadshow with a significant number of customer pre-orders ahead of its June launch.

“The new generation Barina hatch and sedan has really hit a sweet spot in the market and we anticipate increase in supply around mid-year.

“Overall with these stock shortages, April was a tough month for Holden but we’re confident we’ll report stronger results in line with demand in the months to come.”

Kia Maintains Record Pace

Kia’s bold projection of strong annual double-digit growth is right on track with the year-to-date growth hitting 22.7 per cent in a market that saw a softening of sales in April, according to new car sales figures released by the Federal Chamber Of Automotive Industries today.

Monthly sales were up 24.4 per cent over April last year and those figures are supported across the Kia range with SUV sales up by an impressive 30.4 per cent and passenger sales increased by 23.8 per cent in a market that was down by 2.5 per cent compared to April 2011.

Leading the charge in the passenger segment is the stunning Kia Optima up a massive 190.7 per cent jump compared to April 2011. The Optima’s slice of market share in the ‘Medium under $60,000’ segment also increased significantly jumping from 1.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

“This is a very rewarding result for Kia,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow.

“Our continuing strong sales in what was a very soft month signifies Kia is right on track, no matter what, to reach its aggressive sales growth target in 2012. Once again, one of the most pleasing aspects of the month was that sales remained strong across the model range.

”With several of those models, such as Sorento and Cerato, late in their model cycles it is a good indication that buyers are looking past badge snobbery and purchasing on quality and value.”

Kia’s SUV figures were lifted by a very strong sales month for Sorento with the Large SUV jumping 71.3 per cent when compared to the same month last year.

Kia Motors Australia is re-launching the Sorento later in the year with a significant facelift.

Mazda Momentum Boosted by Record April Sales

Mazda Australia has continued on from its record first quarter sales performance with a best ever April total of 7,681 sales according to VFACTS figures released today.

This represents a market share of 9.7 per cent and an increase of 21 per cent or 1,335 sales compared with the same month last year, a result which maintains Mazda’s position as Australia’s third biggest selling brand so far this year.

Strong customer demand across the Mazda range was the driver for the company’s April sales success with the dynamic Mazda3 and All-New CX-5 leading the way.

Mazda3 consolidated its position as Australia’s favourite car with 3,005 April sales with the small car now more than 2,500 units ahead of its nearest rival and recording a year-to-date sales increase of 2.8 per cent over the same period last year.

In just its second month on sale, All-New CX-5 convincingly topped the medium SUV segment with 1,413 retails. Add to this a further 229 CX-7 sales in April and Mazda has now become the leading medium SUV brand year-to-date with a total of 5,820 sales for a 19.5 per cent segment share.

The strength of Mazda’s current model line-up is further illustrated by significant contributions in April from Mazda2, Mazda6 and BT-50.

Mazda2 found favour with 1,305 buyers last month and continues to lead the light segment with a 7.7 percent year-to-date sales increase.

Mazda6 was Australia’s favourite imported family car in April and has now secured 2,248 sales year-to-date, up 19.8 per cent over the same period last year.

All-New BT-50 also continued to impress during April with 922 sales putting it 12.6 per cent ahead of the same period in 2011.

Mazda Australia managing director, Doug Dickson said “I believe that the appeal of Mazda vehicles can be attributed to four key characteristics: function, innovation, style and value. April’s result shows that these characteristics are present across the whole Mazda range. While it’s very pleasing to see our products holding such appeal, we won’t be resting on our laurels as we strive to provide the best customer service possible and develop even better products.”

Nissan Continues Volume March

Nissan Australia has continued its sales volume growth, in its quest for number one importer status, with a strong April result.

The company’s monthly total of 4,686 retails was a 10.3 percent improvement on the corresponding month last year – well ahead of the overall market growth of 6.6 percent.

As a result, Nissan’s market share lifted to 5.9 percent (0.2 percent more than this time last year).

On a 2012 calendar year basis, Nissan’s market share has reached a strong 7.2 percent (0.2 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2011).

Significantly, DUALIS was a star performer, especially with fleet purchasers, showing growth of 46 percent from last year. Combined with X-TRAIL (which shares the same engineering platform) more than 1,700 units were retailed in April.

Fleet business accelerated by an impressive 71 percent, over the same period last year, as Nissan readies more products specific to these markets.

“With a great start to our financial year, and the traditional peak selling period (May and June) now here, we can expect a strong finish to the end of the local tax year,” said Nissan Australia CEO, Bill Peffer.

“And with an impressive collection of new product in the wings like Almera, LEAF, Patrol and Pulsar, the short-term outlook for our brand has never been better.”

Toyota Hilux – Australia’s most popular car

Toyota’s popular HiLux has grabbed the crown as Australia’s best-selling car with an emphatic victory revealed by sales figures released today.

A total of 3,565 customers bought a HiLux in April, marking a return to normal supplies of the popular workhorse following shortages caused by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.

The victory margin of well over 500 vehicles placed HiLux more than 18.6 per cent ahead of any other vehicle on the local sales chart.

It is the sixth time HiLux has been the top-selling vehicle in Australia – and it is the only ute to have achieved this landmark.

HiLux led a strong Toyota result in April with the brand cementing market leadership with 16,568 deliveries – more than 8,800 ahead of its nearest rival.

Toyota outsold the combined totals of its nearest two competitors, bringing its 2012 sales tally to 63,945 vehicles – an overall lead of more than 27,000.

In addition to HiLux 4×2 and 4×4, Toyota vehicles that led their segments were Yaris, Camry, LandCruiser Prado, LandCruiser 200 Series and HiAce bus.

Prado moved into the national top 10 (seventh) with 1,725 deliveries, joining HiLux (first), Corolla (third) and Camry (eighth). Prius c debuted with 405 sales.

Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said HiLux was the most desirable vehicle of its type and had the highest awareness among people looking to buy a 4×2 or 4×4 ute.

“Consumers rate HiLux above any other vehicle for its off-roading capability and other attributes, including performance, lifestyle and value,” Mr Callachor said.

“Almost one in two HiLux buyers already own a Toyota while more than half say they are likely to choose another Toyota for their next vehicle,” he said.

Toyota has been market leader for 83 of the past 85 months – a run broken only by production disruptions caused by last year’s Japan tsunami.